It Ain’t the Feelin’ Ya Get. It’s the Feelin’ Ya Got.

Here’s a little something (Story? Poem? Something) I wrote and entered in a contest. The deal was to write something inspired by this picture of an old-time bullrider from the 1923 Calgary Stampede. This was what I came up with. It didn’t win. Enjoy.

What would possess a man to climb onto the back of an angry bull—not just once, but time and again?

It ain’t the glory. It ain’t the money. It ain’t the spotlight, the fame or the accolades. It ain’t the rush. It ain’t beatin’ the clock, cheatin’ death, conquerin’ the beast. It ain’t some kinda game and it ain’t no kinda dance. It ain’t no day at the beach, and it sure as hell ain’t no day at the office. It ain’t life and God willin’ it ain’t death. It ain’t all sorts of things. All in all, it ain’t but one thing.

It’s a cowboy bein’ a cowboy.

It’s natural. Primal. A struggle. To be free. To stay free. It’s lettin’ loose by holdin’ tight. It’s a statement. A statement to the Heavens and the Earth. That a man can be free. It’s stakin’ a claim. Claimin’ a plot. Not of land, but of life. It’s takin’ ownership. Takin’ control by losin’ control. It’s findin’ shelter by venturin’ out in the storm. It’s the silence and the stillness amid the chaos and the fury. It’s what makes a cowboy a cowboy.

It ain’t the feelin’ ya get. It’s the feelin’ ya got. 

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